(Nov 12, 2012) Tamiflu scrutinised as BMJ calls on pharmaceutical giant to release data
Roche says it has complied with all legal requirements after medical journal claims there is no evidence drug can prevent flu
A leading British medical journal is asking the drug maker Roche to release all its data on Tamiflu, claiming there is no evidence the drug can actually stop the flu.
The drug has been stockpiled by dozens of governments worldwide in case of a global flu outbreak, and was widely used during the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
On Monday, one of the researchers linked to the BMJ called for European governments to sue Roche.
"I suggest we boycott Roche's products until they publish missing Tamiflu data," wrote Peter Gotzsche, leader of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen. He said governments should take legal action against Roche to get the money back that was "needlessly" spent on stockpiling Tamiflu.
Last year, Tamiflu was included in a list of "essential medicines" by the World Health Organization, which often prompts governments or donor agencies to buy the drug.